INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SUNSETS AND SUNRISES

1. Sunrises Occur Even Before the Sun Makes It to the Horizon

This means that you can see the sun even before it rises above the horizon; sounds extraordinary, no? This happens because of the Earth’s atmosphere that effectively refracts the sun’s rays, allowing us to see the sun early.  To be specific, you can spot the sunrise when the sun’s upper limb (instead of its center) crosses the horizon.

2. Sunlight Is White in Color

Yes, you read that right!

If you’ve ever seen pictures taken by the astronauts on the International Space Station, you’ll notice that the sun is always white in those photos. So then why does the sun appear yellow when we look at it from Earth? As sunlight reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, it mixes with other gas molecules and travels through water droplets, resulting in a change in color.

The sunlight scatters and breaks down into a wide range of colors like orange, red, and yellow. In this way, sunrises that start off as whites and blues turn into stunning shades of gold.

3. The timing of the Sunrise and Sunset Varies Throughout the Year

The exact instant the sun rises and sets varies with the season. Also, note that the sun takes different paths across the sky at different speeds each day, which is why we have different sunset and sunrise timings every day.

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4. The East Cape Witnesses the First Sunrise Each Day

It’s a Cape in New Zealand on the Gisborne District of North Island. This is the part of the world that witnesses the first sunrise each day. There are various places on the East Cape that allows you to look at the Earth’s first sunrise. Mount Hikurangi is one of the tallest non-volcanic mountains on the North Island where you can see the morning sun rays.

5. The Sun Loses Its Color As It Begins to Disappear

As the sun begins to set, it starts to lose its blue hues. The wavelengths begin to change into green and yellow shades and eventually orange and red. This is why, by the end of the sunset, the sun looks like a blazing ball of fire.

6. Before We Witness a Sunset, It’s Actually Gone

In other words, sunsets are nothing but an illusion. What we see in the sky is just the refraction of the sun. The Earth’s atmosphere bends the sunlight, which enables us to see the sunset. However, by that time, the sun has already dipped deep into the horizon!

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